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The call to the bar (rarely, call to bar) is a legal
term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as terminology science. Terms ...
in most
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
jurisdictions where persons must be qualified to be allowed to argue in court on behalf of another party and are then said to have been "called to the bar" or to have received a "call to the bar." "The bar" is now used as a
collective noun In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
for
barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialis ...

barrister
s, but literally referred to the wooden barrier in old courtrooms, which separated the often crowded public area at the rear from the space near the judges reserved for those having business with the Court. Barristers would sit or stand immediately behind it, facing the judge, and could use it as a table for their
briefs Briefs are a type of short, form-fitting underwear Undergarments or underwear are items of clothing worn beneath outer clothes, usually in direct contact with the skin, although they may comprise more than a single layer. They serve to k ...
. Like many other common law terms, the term originated in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, and the ''call to the bar'' refers to the
summons A summons (also known in England and Wales as a claim form and in the Australian state of New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mo ...
issued to one found fit to speak at the "bar" of the royal courts. In time, English
judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In th ...

judge
s allowed only legally qualified men to address them on the law and later delegated the qualification and admission of barristers to the four
Inns of Court The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. There are four Inns of Court – Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple. All barristers must belong to one of them. They have ...
. Once an Inn calls one of its members to its bar, they are thereafter a barrister. They may not, however, practise as a barrister until they have completed (or been exempted from) an apprenticeship called ''
pupillageA pupillage, in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the form ...
''. After completing pupillage, they are considered to be a practising barrister with a
right of audienceIn common law, a right of audience is generally a right of a lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is ...
before all courts.
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
and some other
jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the legal term for the authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. Colloquially it is used to refer to the geographical area (: locatio ...
distinguish two types of
lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English ...

lawyer
s, who are regulated by different bodies, with separate training, examinations, regulation and traditions: * Barristers primarily practise in court and generally specialise in advocacy in a particular field of law; they have a right of audience in all courts of England and Wales. *
Solicitors A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority grante ...
do not necessarily undertake court work, but have a right of audience in the lower courts (
magistrates' court#REDIRECT Magistrates' court A magistrates' court is a lower court where, in several jurisdictions Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages ...
s and
county court A county court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of justice in Civil ...

county court
s). They are ''admitted'' or ''enrolled'' as a solicitor, to conduct litigation and practise in law outside court, e.g., providing legal advice to lay clients and acting on their behalf in legal matters. A solicitor must qualify as a solicitor-advocate in order to acquire the same "higher rights" of audience as a barrister. In other jurisdictions, the terminology and the degree of overlap between the roles of solicitor and barrister varies greatly; in most, the distinction has disappeared entirely.


Particular jurisdictions

Common law jurisdictions include
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, England and Wales,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China on the ...

Hong Kong
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
and most jurisdictions in the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
(the See also section below contains links to articles on the laws of these jurisdictions).


Australia

In Australia, the status of the legal profession differs from state to state: * Queensland and New South Wales formally split the legal profession between solicitors and barristers; * South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have "fused" the professions of barrister and solicitor, but each state maintains an independent bar for lawyers who solely practice as barristers; and * Tasmania and the Northern Territory have fused professions, with a very small number of legal practitioners operating as an independent bar. Most Australian barristers will have previously worked as solicitors prior to becoming barristers. Candidates wishing to become barristers may have to pass an examination and undergo further specialised training before those candidates are "called to the bar" or "sign the roll of counsel". Both the examination and the further training are administered by the state's bar association: * in Queensland, candidates must pass "three 1.5 hour examinations, focusing on legal ethics, practice and procedure, and evidence", and then successfully complete the Bar Practice Course; * in New South Wales, candidates must pass the NSW Bar Examination, and then successfully complete the Bar Practice Course; and * in Victoria, candidates must pass the Victorian Bar Entrance Exam, and then successfully complete the Victorian Bar Readers' Course. Upon completing the relevant training course, new barristers ("readers") are required to spend a period of months "reading" in the chambers of an experienced barrister, called the reader's "tutor" (in New South Wales) or "mentor" (in Victoria) (historically, this experienced barrister was called the new barrister's "pupil master"). This "reading" period serves as a kind of practical apprenticeship for the new barrister, who works in the same chambers as their tutor/mentor and is able to learn by observing their tutor/mentor, as well as actively seeking their guidance.


Canada

In common law, Canadian provinces, despite the unified legal profession (lawyers are qualified as both
barristers A barrister is a type of lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is the preferred term for a practisi ...
and
solicitors A solicitor is a legal practitioner who traditionally deals with most of the legal matters in some jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority grante ...
), the certificate issued by the provincial Law Society to the newly qualified lawyer generally indicates his or her having been called to the Bar and admitted as a solicitor. In the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, there are two certificates, one issued by the respective provincial Law Society for call to the bar and the other by the Superior Court (Ontario) or Court of Queen's Bench (Manitoba) for admission as a solicitor. In
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
, being called to the bar requires students to article (apprentice) with a law firm for ten months, but due to a shortage of articling positions available each year and an influx of articling candidates, a pilot alternative program available through the
University of Ottawa The University of Ottawa (french: Université d'Ottawa), often referred to as uOttawa or U of O, is a bilingual in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of ...
and
Ryerson University , mottoeng = With mind and skill , established = , type = public university, Public research university , endowment = C$136.285 million , chancellor = Janice Fukakusa , president = Mohamed Lachemi , provost = Saeed Zolfaghari , undergrad ...

Ryerson University
was established. The Law Practice Program requires the articling students to spend four months in a virtual law office and to spend another four months in a work placement.
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
is the only common law jurisdiction with individual, rather than group, calls. The student's supervisor, referred to as his or her principal, makes an oral application to the Provincial Court of Alberta or
Court of Queen's Bench The Queen's Bench (; or, during the reign of a male monarch, the King's Bench ('), is the superior court in a number of jurisdictions within some of the Commonwealth realms. The original Court of King's Bench (England), King's Bench, founded in ...
to have the student called to the bar. Gowns are worn and the ceremony is public, with the presiding judge (or judges) welcoming the new member with a speech written specifically for that call. In
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
, a
civil law notary Civil-law notaries, or Latin notaries, are lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at law, barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barrister ...
is very similar to a solicitor.


England and Wales

In England and Wales, a call ceremony takes place at the barrister's
Inn of Court Image:London-Inns-of-Court.JPG, 300px, Combined arms of the four Inns of Court. Clockwise from top left: Lincoln's Inn, Middle Temple, Gray's Inn, Inner Temple. The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in Englan ...
(or at
Temple Church The Temple Church is a Royal peculiar church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. It was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Patriarch Heraclius of Je ...
for members of the
Inner Temple The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as the Inner Temple, is one of the four (professional associations for s and judges) in London. To be and practise as a barrister in , a person must belong to one of these Inns. It is ...

Inner Temple
), before or during the
pupillageA pupillage, in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the form ...
year. A barrister is called to the ''utter'' ("outer") bar or "appointed to the degree of the utter bar". Those appointed as
Queen's Counsel In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some pr ...
are entitled to plead from "within the bar" in court.


Ireland

In Ireland, the legal profession is split between solicitors and barristers. Candidates wishing to qualify as barristers must complete a series of examinations at the Honorable Society of King's Inns. Successful candidates are called to the Bar by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court. Upon being called to the Bar, a barrister becomes a member of the Outer Bar, or "Junior Counsel". Some barristers may subsequently be called to the Inner Bar in a similar ceremony, gaining the title "Senior Counsel".


New Zealand

As in Canada, the legal profession is
fused Fuse or FUSE may refer to: Devices * Fuse (electrical), a device used in electrical systems to protect against excessive current ** Fuse (automotive), a class of fuses for vehicles * Fuse (hydraulic), a device used in hydraulic systems to protect ...
. A lawyer in New Zealand is admitted as either a "barrister sole" or a "barrister and solicitor of the
High Court of New Zealand The High Court of New Zealand ( mi, Te Kōti Matua o Aotearoa) is the superior court of New Zealand. It has general jurisdiction and responsibility, under the Senior Courts Act 2016, as well as the High Court Rules 2016, for the administration of ...
". Once admitted, New Zealand's "barrister and solicitors" are able to practise in either mode provided they hold a practising certificate, while barristers sole are entitled only to practice as a barrister. Admission is overseen by the New Zealand Law Society.


Nigeria

As in New Zealand, there is no formal distinction between barristers and solicitors. A lawyer in
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
is admitted as a "Barrister and Solicitor of the
Supreme Court of Nigeria The Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN), is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the admin ...
." Once admitted, Nigerian lawyers may argue in any federal trial or appellate court as well as any of the courts in Nigeria's thirty six states and the Federal Capital Territory. Lawyers are regulated by the
Nigerian Bar Association The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is a non-profit, umbrella professional association of all lawyers admitted to the bar in Nigeria. It is engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria. The ...
.


Northern Ireland

Prior to the partition of Ireland, barristers in what is now Northern Ireland were called to the Bar in the same manner as those in the rest of Ireland. The procedure remains much the same today, save that candidates wishing to qualify as barristers must complete a series of examinations at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at
Queen's University Belfast , native_name_lang = Irish , image_upright = , image_size = 150px , image_alt = Seal of Queen's University Belfast , caption = Coat of arms of Queen's University Belfast , latin_name = Universitas Reginae Belfastiae , motto = la, Pro t ...

Queen's University Belfast
(under the supervision of the Honourable Society of the Inn of Court of Northern Ireland), barristers are called to the Bar by the
Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland The Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland is the appointed official holding office as President of the Courts of Northern Ireland and is Courts of Northern Ireland, Head of the Judiciary of Northern Ireland.Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
, a lawyer must be admitted and enrolled as an attorney-at-law of the
Supreme Court of Sri Lanka The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka ( si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය, Sri Lanka Sreshthadikaranaya; ta, இலங்கை உயர் நீதிமன்றம், Ilankai uyar neetimanram) is the ...
. This is referred to as the call to the bar.


United States

Generally, a lawyer is said to have been "
admitted to the BarAn admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice law. In jurisdictions with two types of lawyer, as with barristers and solicitors, barristers must gain admission to the bar whereas for solicitors there are distin ...
" and become an "
attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in everyday speech to attorney, is the preferred term for a practising lawyer in certain jurisdictions, including Attorneys in South Africa, South Africa (for certain lawyers), Attorney at law ( ...
"; some states still use the older term "attorney and counselor (or even spelled 'counsellor') at law", upon taking his or her oath of office. Historically, the institution of attorney was similar to that of the solicitor, whereas the office of the counselor was almost identical to that of the barrister, but today this distinction has disappeared. The phrase "called to the bar" is still sometimes used informally by U.S. attorneys to refer to their qualification as a lawyer.


See also

*
Admission to the bar An admission to practice law is acquired when a lawyer receives a license to practice law. In jurisdictions with two types of lawyer, as with barristers and solicitors, barristers must gain admission to the bar whereas for solicitors there are disti ...
*
Bar (law) In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its b ...
*
Bar association A bar association is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may refer to: *Furthur (bus), ''Furth ...
*
Bar council {{see also, Bar association A bar council ( ga, Comhairle an Bharra) or bar association, in a common law jurisdiction with a legal professionLegal profession is a profession, and legal professionals study, develop and apply law. Usually, there is ...
* Election to the
Faculty of Advocates The Faculty of Advocates is an independent body of lawyers who have been admitted to practise as advocates before the courts of Scotland, especially the Court of Session The Court of Session is the Supreme court, supreme Civil law (commo ...
, Scotland *
Law of Australia The legal system of Australia has multiple forms. It includes a written Constitution of Australia, constitution, unwritten Constitutional convention (political custom)#Australia, constitutional conventions, statutes, Delegated legislation in the ...
*
Law of Canada The legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each ...
*
Law of England and Wales English law is the common law List of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil law (common law), civil law, each branch having its own Courts of England and Wales, ...
*
Law of Hong Kong The law of Hong Kong is unique, being a common law system preserved, after the handover to China in 1997, within the civil law system of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country i ...
*
Law of India The law of India refers to the system of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced ...
*
Law of New Zealand The law of New Zealand has its foundation in the English common law system, inherited from being a part of the Commonwealth ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things alread ...
*
Law of Northern Ireland Northern Irish law refers to the legal system of statutory law, statute and common law operating in Northern Ireland since the partition of Ireland established Northern Ireland as a separate Jurisdiction (area), jurisdiction within the United Kin ...
*
Law of the Republic of Ireland The law of Ireland consists of constitutional, statute and common law. The highest law in the State is the Constitution of Ireland The Constitution of Ireland ( ga, Bunreacht na hÉireann, ) is the constitution, fundamental law of Republic of ...
*
Politics of Nigeria The federal government of Nigeria is composed of five distinct branches: legislative, executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the admini ...


References

{{Reflist Judiciaries Common law English law Professional certification in law